*OFFICIAL* Alienware m15 Owner's Lounge

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by ssj92, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. FXi

    FXi Notebook Deity

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    It doesn't always save you (sometimes you are prevented from rolling back) but saving each BIOS update file (they aren't huge) in a directory so you had a path backward would probably be a good idea.

    If you are super sensitive to downtime (I'm laughing a bit because darn it who ISNT?) and you don't really badly need what a BIOS update has to offer, you may try waiting a couple of weeks just to see if the web goes crazy over some botched update. It's one thing to rollback an OS update or take an image of your drive before changing software or settings, but BIOS changes are tough to undo if things don't go well.

    You will often see people here checking if others have implemented a given bios update before committing to applying it to their own machines.
     
  2. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Sounds like a plan. The main things that worry me about OLEDs so far are the PWM and the fact that it's 4K only. I do wonder why only 4K OLEDs are available, even in 13". Surely FHD would be enough in practice for most people and I imagine the display would be more power efficient? Perhaps the weird pixel geometry creates artefacts at lower resolutions? Would also be good to actually see power draw numbers, particularly during display of a white image. I've seen an article where Dell claimed "they learned their AW13 lessons in OLED heat management" suggesting some serious max wattage.

    We'll see, that all depends on whether the new CPUs will retain the undervolting capacity of i7-8750H, or (as per your own comment earlier I believe) Intel undervolts out of the box and call this a "Coffee Lake refresh". The underlying technology and power limits are the same, so probably no major miracles until 10nm.

    Do you mean the install files? There is no huge need to save them because the full history is available on the website. Trouble is: it's impossible to downgrade the BIOS just by running an older installer (or so I heard, and that was def the case with the AW 15 R2 BIOS updates after Spectre).
     
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  3. Quikj

    Quikj Notebook Consultant

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    I'm pretty pleased with my m15 overall. It's very quick, well built, and much more portable than I ever dreamed a gaming laptop would be. I use it for work (building software) in addition to gaming and some video editing.

    Being that I use it for work and travel, battery life is important to me and was a consideration in purchasing this particular machine with the 90Whr battery. Sometimes the battery life is excellent and I can get upwards of 7hrs with the screen at 50%, battery saver on and the battery profile selected in throttle stop. I've also undervolted the cpu cache, core and integrated graphics.

    Other times the batter life leaves something to be desired and I'm getting around 4-4.5 hrs with the same settings performing the same tasks (browsing, streaming, etc...). I've read that it might be Windows updating in the background, but haven't been able to confirm this.

    What gives? Anyone else experiencing the same issue? Is this just a Windows 10 issue or should I contact Dell support
     
  4. FXi

    FXi Notebook Deity

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    I read a comment some ways back where a lower res OLED panel was criticized for "showing some fringing on text characters". Probably since phone resolutions are what their machines are coming from (just building bigger) making the screen 4k was an easy win, and they seemed to have made sure that down res to 1080 is visually very good so people would have, in theory, the best of both worlds. I'm not saying if it is or isn't but it could be the theory.

    Moreover, look at who would be willing to pay for OLED panels, people generally not shopping 1080 15.6" screens right? The most likely step up to OLED would be UHD high gamut buyers for whom the OLED appeal would be very strong.

    Personally I like the higher resolutions screens. Some do not and it's fine to have both types. But if you are building a panel that you know is going to cost more, you probably build at least your first model or two as one to appeal to buyers spending more.

    The world is going to be full of OLED panels in 5 years. They are a lot cheaper to make than they were 5 years ago. Just as 5 years prior to now, LED's themselves were just beginning to be put into everything. Factories were ramping up production of them, just as multiple manufacturers are building OLED factories now (or converting existing to OLED in many cases). That means you will get the 1080 1000Hz super panel someday and that won't be far off. :)

    I was worried this might be true. I just have a built in tendency to backup files that I need and not rely on a web location to keep a record I can always get to. But... if you can't go backward it won't matter.

    I forgot all light sources generate heat. LED's have come way down and the methods for controlling them have improved. OLED's in small devices are still improving and engineering still needs to account for heat. That's one of the problem areas with microLED's too - dealing with the heat output increase over regular LED's.
     
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  5. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Well, I'd think that's wrong
    Glad you are happy with your m15. Battery life numbers look good, but can probably be improved. Install BatteryCare to monitor instantaneous power draw and discover what's draining your battery (the W10 battery drain monitoring app is somewhat useful too). Check out my posts on this topic a few pages earlier. Undervolt as much as you can including the Intel GPU (mine is running at -120mV and I'm still looking to push this further). Run in W10 battery saver mode to limit power draw to 20W. Good luck.

    LOL I only just realized I've got OLED displays in my Rift. It's not apparent because blacks are not black, and the reason for that is that OLEDs have another issue - a perfect black can only be achieved by powering a LED down, but that's way slower than changing brightness resulting in motion/blur ghosting which was too visible even at 90Hz. It also probably explains most of the headset heat, which is significant. PWM is not an issue because the display operates on a single brightness setting I think - they could do that because of the effectively constant lighting conditions under the headset. While the overall image quality is very good and pleasant, it doesn't appear to be much better than IPS, although surely that's in part due to the much lower effective resolution and it doesn't look like they particularly calibrated the Rift for colour accuracy. I will look at some colour calibration charts next time I'm in VR.

    BTW What charge/wear/capacity does your battery show in HWINFO when fully charged and how long have you had the laptop?
     
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  6. propeldragon

    propeldragon Notebook Evangelist

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    The oled blacks should be as black as they get if calibrated properly. When oled displays blacks the pixel turns off. Hence why oled can get stuck pixels. Maybe they're using something else.
     
  7. Quikj

    Quikj Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the advice.
    Capacity is 87.530 Whr. I've had the laptop since the end of March.
     
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  8. FXi

    FXi Notebook Deity

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    Credit to Etern4l for thinking to ask this question, but do folks with OLED screens notice a bothersome amount of motion blur when moving a colored object around on a black background? This is a test of black rise response which is a weak area of OLED (all of them) as the fully off (no power) pixel to lit up pixel response time is the slowest response on an OLED panel.

    This test is going to be subject to perception, not everyone will notice equally. But since we have several OLED panel users here, perhaps we have at least a small sample set. Should be a large all black background and then some brightly colored object being moved around on the black field.
     
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  9. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Looks
    It's a Samsung OLED. I'm pretty confident the Oculus Rift team led by Carmack configured the display optimally for the experience. The quality bar is much higher than in a 15" 4K display, because the user is looking at magnified image which is supposed to be delivered at an absolutely smooth 90Hz, so it's clear that any artefacts would be much more noticeable.

    Thanks. I've been asking Dell why the sold me an 82Whr battery but no reply so far.
     
  10. propeldragon

    propeldragon Notebook Evangelist

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    I have been using a solid black background for 2 weeks now and when I start the computer up I get confused and think, didn't I just turn this on? Lol but anyways. When I have Max brightness moving around the hwinfo windows I get zero color discoloration and it moves smooth and snappy to me.
     
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